10 Oddball Questions Scientists Have Genuinely Tried to Answer


Are cabbies' brains better than the rest of ours?

Your hippocampus is how big?!
Your hippocampus is how big?!

Thanks to everything from bad weather to cranky passengers, driving a cab must be challenging under the best of conditions. That could make driving a cab in a metropolitan labyrinth of lousy street planning an absolute nightmare. So how do taxi drivers manage it? By expanding pertinent parts of their minds.

London cab drivers have to pass some rigorous exams to command one of the cabs that dots London thoroughfares. Some of the memory-storing parts of the drivers who pass are more developed than those of the drivers who fail, says a five-year study conducted at University College London. The hippocampi of the successful sedan savants grew decidedly more developed in certain respects than those of us who simply push the peddles to get to the nearest grocery store [source: Jabr].